Trey Hardee in action on day one in Gotzis (Lorenzo Sampaolo) © Copyright
General News Götzis, Austria

World champions Hardee and Ennis in the driving seat overnight in Götzis - the IAAF Combined Events Challenge

World champions Trey Hardee and Jessica Ennis are the overnight leaders of the 37th edition of the Hypo Meeting in Gotzis in the Austrian region of Voralberg, the second individual permit meet leg of the IAAF Combined Events Challenge. Hardee leads with 4553 points over Oleksy Kasyanov (4290 points). Ennis scored 4097 points and leads over Jessica Zelinka from Canada by 300 points.

MEN – Decathlon

Trey Hardee got off to a flying start in the 100 metres crossing the finish-line in a super-fast 10.44 sec (989 points) into a headwind of -0.7 m/s to defeat Ukraine’s Oleksiy Kasyanov, second in 10.75 (917 points) in the fifth heat. Rico Freimuth, the son of 1985 and 1988 Gotzis meeting winner Uwe Freimuth, clocked 10.79 to take the win in the fourth heat.

Hardee continued to produce great results in the Long Jump where he set his PB of 7.88m (1030 points) in the second attempt after leaping to 7.62 in the opening round. In the third attempt the USA’s reigning World champion backed up his lifetime best with another impressive jump to 7.80. Matthias Prey from Germany jumped 7.65 to finish second in the Long Jump ahead of local Dominik Distelberger (7.62). The Austrian decathlete was second in the overall ranking with 1873 points after two events. Kasyanov was ranked in third overall position with 1822 points after leaping to 7.38 m.  

Also in the Shot Put Hardee set a new PB with 15.63 (828 points) in the first attempt. The US star, second two years ago with 8516 points, led after three attempts with 2847 points with a gap of 277 points over 2009 European Indoor champion Mikk Pahapill from Estonia who produced a best release of 15.48 m. Kasyanov put the shot to 14.08 and kept the third overall place with 2555 points. The Shot Put win went to German Pascal Behrenbruch who took overall sixth place with 2524 points thanks to his 16.44 in the shot put.  

The overall ranking did not change after the high jump where Hardee cleared 2.00 metres to finish fifth in this discipline won by Belgium’s Thomas Van der Plaetzen with 2.09. Hardee led Pahapill by 249 points with 3650 to 3401 points. Kasyanov finished fourth in the high jump with 2.03 to defend his overall third place with 3386 points.

Hardee capped the first day with a solid 48.12 in the 400 metres, the third fastest time behind Yunior Diaz from Cuba and Oleksiy Kasyanov who were faster in the following heat respectively with 47.53 and 48.11.

Hardee finished day one with 4553 points with a comfortable cushion of 263 points over Kasyanov who overtook Pahapill. The Ukrainian scored 4290 points to Pahapill’s 4172 points. Reigning Commonwealth champion Jamie Adjetey Nelson followed in the overall ranking just one point behind Pahapill. Rico Freimuth had a solid first day in which he finished overnight fifth with 4164 ahead of compatriot Norman Muller (4154 points) and Eelco Sintnicolaas (4153 points). The Dutchman, European outdoor silver medallist, has good chances to fight for the podium as he can rely on his strong Pole Vault where he holds an outdoor PB of 5.45m. World silver medallist Leonel Suarez is ninth after the first five events with 4135 points but he is very strong in the Javelin Throw and in the 1500 metres and can still make up ground and battle for top-three positions. Everything can happen with just 54 points separating the third ranked athlete from the ninth placer.

“I do not feel tired after the first day. It was not a perfect day but it was good. I just cramped in the High Jump. I am pleased with my long jump PB and the High Jump where my goal was to clear 2.00 metres. My goal is just to do my best and enjoy the experience. It was fun when I crossed the finish-line after the 400 metres and I saw the time,” said a delighted Trey Hardee.

WOMEN - Heptathlon

Reigning World outdoor and indoor champion and last year’s Gotzis winner Jessica Ennis cruised to an easy 13.03 in the 100 metres Hurdles (1120 points) beating Olympic fourth placer Jessica Zelinka from Canada, who finished second in the fourth heat in 13.21 (1093 points) ahead of Paris European Indoor champion Antoinette Nana Djimou who clocked 13.48 (1053 points).

After a clean sheet until 1.82, the British super-star had some problems in clearing the next height at 1.85 which she cleared at the second attempt. She needed three attempts to clear 1.88 and two attempts at 1.91 (1119 points) where she sealed the win in this event ahead Belarus Yana Maksimaya (PB 1.88) and Lithuania’s European Indoor silver medallist Austra Skujite (1.85). In the overall ranking Ennis led with 2239 points ahead of Jessica Zelinka (1.79 in the High Jump) who totalled 2059 points. Maksimaya’s PB in the High Jump propelled her to third overall place with 2032 points with a gap of 3 points over World silver medallist and European bronze medallist Jennifer Oeser from Germany.

Ennis did not go beyond the 14 metres barrier in the Shot Put but her best release to 13.94m was enough to keep a lead of 120 points with a total of 3029 points over Skujte who won the Shot Put with 16.23m as expected. Reigning Olympic champion Nataliya Dobrynska from Ukraine was sixth after two events(14.04 in the 100 metres Hurdles and 1.82 in the High Jump) but moved up into third following her 15.28m in the Shot Put.

In the 200 metres, Dutch raising star Dafne Schippers, IAAF World Junior champion in Moncton 2010, cruised to a very impressive PB of 22.90 (1089 points) showing her sprint gift (she clocked 7.28 in the 60 metres during the 2011 indoor season). Ennis set a new 200 metres PB clocking 23.11 (1068 points) for second place in the half-lap event. The Briton ended the first day of competitions in the lead with a gap of 300 points over Jessica Zelinka who finished fourth in the 200 metres with 23.71. The Canadian scored a total of 3797 points. Thanks to her fast 200 metres Shippers, who has not turned 19 yet, moved up from 11th after the High Jump to third with a total of 3767 points.

“I am pleased with my first day but I am disappointed with the hurdles and the shot put. The hurdles result is not due to my injury problems I had during the winter which forced me to miss some weeks of training. In the 200 metres I knew that Dafne Schippers was going to run quickly. She pushed me to a new PB and I am pleased with that”, said Ennis.  

Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF

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